Exposing the Slovenian disinformation ecosystem

Grantee: Oštro, Center for investigative journalism in the Adriatic region / Grant: €50,172.66
  • Priority Area Boosting Fact-checking Activities in Europe
  • Funding Round / Action Types 3rd Funding Round – Urgent Actions
  • Year 2023, 2024
  • Country Slovenia
  • Project Status Ongoing

Since its establishment, the team behind Oštro’s fact-checking project Razkrinkavanje.si had repeatedly exposed the media for spreading fake-news but this did not decrease the frequency of such content. Exposées of their owners and managers, usually connected to the now former ruling party SDS, had led to no change in their editorial policies.

We believe that a part of the fight against disinformation has to be refocused on the enablers, those that fund its production via ads, thus taking part in dismantling the democratic public debate.

The project »Exposing the Slovenian disinformation ecosystem« represents a first attempt in Slovenia to systematically research the funding of disinformation through advertising revenues.

Oštro will investigate how much money is being pooled into these outlets from advertising, especially from state-owned advertisers. The team will use specialized tools to analyze the ads.

Besides exposing the enablers of disinformation, Oštro will also train young journalists as Slovenia has seen a significant decline in professional standards. Such training is important because college programs are not sufficiently adapted to new technologies that can advance journalistic work as well as drive disinformation production/dissemination.

Oštro’s fact-checking project is also an incubator for future investigative journalists. Through fact-checking they learn the methods, tools and skills needed to produce high-quality journalism, and internalize high standards of work.

During this project they will develop their research skills, learn how to search various public databases, work with credible sources, analyze the acquired data and learn how to use innovative tools for investigating news portals.

Oštro will also focus its training efforts on local reporters and/or media to improve their fact-checking and investigative skills. This is important as resources of local reporting networks in Slovenia have been decimated in the past decade.

Updated on 24 february 2023

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